Friday, February 4, 2011

What I know about crackheads.

I know what I know. It's nothing scientifically proven. It's not meant to be judgemental or racists. What I know is from directly interacting and observing hundreds of patients of lower socioeconomic status over the past 2+ years; from working in an office that is set in an "Ok" area, but don't go to the gas station 2 blocks over; and of course from watching The Wire.

If you an explanation about crackheads read here before proceeding.

(Even if you are familiar with crackheads you should still check out the Urban Dictionary
definition above because it's freakin' hilarious!)

If you're wondering why I know anything about crackheads refer to my prior post here for more details.

General crackhead characteristics include jittery or itching type behavior, the need for hygiene and/or dental care, the ability to urinate anywhere without concern for who is watching, and an inability to respond to basic reasoning of any kind. I have latex gloves and a private employee only bathroom, but find that lack of reasoning or logic has no solution. I typically go with repetition of the same simple phrase, followed by walking away.

I have divided the general population of crackheads into three subtypes.


They typically start out calm, although I have learned to pick out their effort of appearing calm vs. actually being calm. Within minutes or seconds they can be provoked into outright fits of rage and vulgarity. Most commonly they are provoke by my lack of ability to prescrip medication, mainly narcotics. It is not uncommon for this to escalate to accusations of racism.


With tendoncies toward irrational and impulsive behaviors, the desperate crackheads refuse to take no for an answer. They tend to come back to my office several times before leaving the facility to inquire again. It is not uncommon for some crying, sobbing, a pleas or grave despair to take place. On rare occasions they end with a spat of violent or aggressive behavior but much more subdued than the enraged group. They are calmed easily with free coffee and soft pretzels.

And last but not least...
The Loony Bin

This requires little to no explanation. Some crackheads just lose their mind after awhile from all the drugs and living on the streets. Most of the crazy folks are homeless. They have no shame or cares about their obvious addiction or maybe they're just too loony to care.

We have our own office crackhead, Sweeps. In the past he would sweep the cigrattes, used condoms, and dirty needles in our parking lot for a few dollars. It was really a win-win situation because my staff doesn't want to deal with it and Sweeps needs money for crack. Eventually the manager put a stop to the whole thing, for god knows what reason, but Sweeps still comes around. He's always volunteering his assistance in washing your car or inquiring about any extra boots or shoes we might have just lying around the office. Someone stole his sleeping bag once or he forgot where he left it. He wasn't sure but either way he was cold, so one of the guys brought him in an old winter coat. We leave him leftover pretzels from the day wrapped in plastic out by the dumpster. Sometimes they're gone by the next morning, but sometimes Sweeps goes missing for weeks at a time. You never know if he OD or just elsewhere. He makes a lot of money dancing outside of a tatoo shop to lure in customers, so he hangs around there a lot. I saw him this morning on the corner wearing a Statue of Liberty costume dancing around with a sign for a tax accountant. He's a resourceful man.

And that's what's I know about crackheads...

No comments: